FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe has dodged an energy apocalypse this winter, economists and officials say, thanks to unusually warm weather and efforts to find other sources of natural gas after Russia cut off most of its supply to the continent.
Natural gas suppliers in recent days have increased their stocks at a time when they’re usually being drawn down — an unexpected boost that has relieved fears of gas used to heat homes, generate electricity and power factories running out by winter’s end.
As a result, short-term gas prices have fallen from record highs, dropping from 18 times what they were before Russia massed troops on Ukraine’s border in early 2021 to four times higher. That’s still painfully high, eating away at company earnings and consumer spending power through costly utility bills and inflation.
But analysts say the worst case of shortages and rationing has been avoided.
Here are key facts about Europe’s energy struggles:
WHY IS EUROPE FACING LESS RISK OF GAS SHUTOFFS?
Warm weather has allowed Europe’s storage facilities to remain 83% full since Jan. 1, with levels even rising on some days.
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